On Sunday, 12th of January, the news of the suicide of Šarūnas from Biržai district has appeared in the media. According to the comments of his acquaintances, the presumable reason of Šarūnas suicide was his sexual orientation. The boy felt emotional pressure in the family and did not have a close person to whom he could reveal himself in his circle of friends.
Once more this tragic event proves that homophobic prejudices are still widely spread in Lithuania, and that the consequences of that can cause big harm. Because of the lack of support, hate, and a society full of prejudices, young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people choose extreme means to flee from their insecurity – suicide. Such cases point out that versatile education about sexual orientation and gender is needed, which should be introduced already in secondary education level so that the society would change it’s angle of view. Meanwhile in Lithuania we do have an inverse situation, as it is by the Lithuanian Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information forbidden to talk about these issues. So maybe this case will encourage to rethink, if amendments for this law do really “protect” minors?
National LGBT rights organization (LGL) seeks to create secure environment for LGBT persons, both living or visiting Vilnius. Also, LGL is making first steps in developing activities in other regions of Lithuania. The goal is to provide relevant information about social and psychological support means for people living there. Likewise, the organization is carrying out various kinds of communal activities for young LGBT people to meet in a secure and friendly environment where they can share their experiences and find support.
Currently LGL employees and volunteers are preparing a self-help publication for answering youngsters questions about identity and sexuality, and how to find a secure LGBT community circle. Also, there will be useful information about sexual orientations. Those who are wishing to contribute to activities in LGL should write to this address – firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are any questions regarding LGBT issues, contact us – email@example.com.
LGL is waiting for more detailed information about the tragic event and it’s causes. We think that the case one more time proves the need for additional support for young LGBT people. These issues will certainly be taken into account in the future activities of LGL.